Lord we come before you this morning with humble hearts asking you to fill us anew with your Holy Spirit. As we heard two weeks ago the Holy Spirit came like a gentle dove of peace, but it is also a fire that ignites. Once the Holy Spirit has entered our lives it makes us view things we see and things we do differently as our senses now come through God. But Lord we all too often feel inadequate and feel we let you down because we don't feel -
- good enough
- kind enough
- clever enough
- patient enough
- as unselfish as we think we should be
But you gave us your Holy Spirit to be our Helper and our Comforter.
He is our love, joy, patience, and peace.
Spirit of life - Fill our emptiness with your fullness
We ask for the hope and comfort of your Spirit for those whose lives are overshadowed by illness or pain and for those whose lives are darkened by sorrow or bereavement.
Spirit of power - Stir our hearts afresh
We ask for the peace and joy of your Spirit for those living in the shadow of war
and violence; for those eaten up by guilt and anxiety and for those whose Christian life has become hard and dry.
Spirit of love - Touch us, and through us, our friends and neighbours
Spirit of Creativity - Enable and empower the gifts you have given us and we ask for the guidance and strength of your Spirit for those uncertain how to use their time, talents and gifts; enable and empower us to nurture those gifts you have given us so that we may use them for your Glory.
Spirit of Eternity - Draw us ever deeper into your Kingdom
Loving God, we ask for the assurance of your Holy Spirit and to know your presence is with us in our daily lives: in our relationships; in our work and service; in our worship; in our times of joy and of pain. Draw us ever deeper into your Kingdom
And heavenly father, we come before you as your humble servants, we come before you today in need of hope. Today, in our frightening new millennium, people's hearts are failing them for fear. Who doesn't wonder if our world is running out of peace? Your commandments are broken daily. People are walking out of meaningful relationships. Love is in short supply and many are running out of purpose and meaning in their lives. People are depressed, overeating, and desperately searching for comfort and intimacy. And even those in church are running out of energy and ideas about how to fulfil the great commission and reach our generations with the gospel.
A world running on empty. People running on empty.
Lord of the past, the present and the future - when all seems dark around us and all hope seems lost. We need you Lord, in our darkest hours to give us hope and comfort. Fill us with your light from head to toe. Let your Holy Spirit within us turn our darkness and despair into light and hope.
Like the child who has had enough and asks 'Can I go home?' let us realise that we are home. We are home safe in your arms, we are home in this your church with our family and our friends.
Isaiah 42:v16 says
This is the promise of God: I will lead the blind by a road they do not know, by paths they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I will do, and I will not forsake them.
God of Light, I pray that your light will shine through us like a city on a hill. May we be a reflection of your love and mercy in this world that others see you reflected in us. Help us to walk in your light, and live our lives through your Holy Spirit in faith, in hope and for your glory. Teach us - in every situation to stop and think - "What would Jesus do?"
This was written and prayed by Jan at Beacon Church morning service 26.02.2017
"Sin will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay" ~ Anonymous
"Satan watches for those vessels that sail without a convoy" ~ George Swinnock (1627-1673)
A word from Deryk Green for Whitchurch - 03/11/2015
Man has turned his highway from Whitchurch, his main roads skirt now the town, Attention forced ahead to new attractions, new markets.
But God has Whitchurch as his Highway hub. He is building new ways into its centre. There the Beacon flames, light into the dark. Robed in white, you who attend and have found God, those coming will see you standing out for the King of Kings.
Do not fear, your King is coming. Indeed He is with you! Never now will your light go out. Rather it will grow stronger, brighter, turning Whitchurch truly into White Church town for Me.
"The root of sin is the suspicion that God is not good" - Oswald Chambers
Error does not become Truth because it is widely accepted; Truth does not become error, even when it stands alone!
Set a strong guard about your outward senses. These are Satan’s landing place, especially the eye and ear. ~ William Gurnall (1617-1679)
Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you a car. ~ Billy Sunday
Good intentions and earnest effort are not enough. Only Jesus can make an otherwise futile life productive. ~
31st December 2014
I felt I needed to share this...
On Wednesday morning, while thinking about the worship for Sunday and about what God has in store for us this year, He gave me a really exciting picture/revelation.
It started with God reminding me of a picture He gave me at the Worship Central Conference. On that occasion I had a picture of waves crashing on a beach, with tongues of fire 'riding' on the crest of each wave. I also sensed God saying that 'the tide is turning'. (Tim Hughes also spoke about 'The Wave' during the final evening session - about waves coming in and about God being at work...)
This time I sensed that the waves are of differing sizes - ranging from huge waves you can surf, to tiny ripples that just about manage to break onto the beach.
God really impressed on me that this is all about revival!
I believe God is saying that revival will come in different ways for different people and different churches. It may come as a huge wave that has a major impact on all it encompasses, or it may be a ripple that only affects one or two people.
I also had a strong sense that God wants to dismantle the walls/barriers in peoples' lives. Some may pull their walls down completely, some may only pull a couple of bricks out. Again this is all about revival (and renewal) - which needs to start in our own hearts...
Then on Wednesday night, I sensed God again saying that the tide is turning - the waves are coming in! And what they bring in with them will not be pretty. The tide will not clean the beach, but instead will bring with it the rubbish and stuff we would rather not deal with. We will have a clean up job to do...And we need to be prepared to get our hands dirty...God does not want 'clean' middle class churches. He wants churches that enfold those on the fringes of society, those who are at the mercy of various addictions, etc...
God wants to challenge us!
(PS I don't believe this revelation is solely directed at Beacon.)
Jamie Muir quoting William Booth during sermon of 28th December 2014
William Booth (10 April 1829 - 20 August 1912),
must have been somewhere towards the end of that century,
said of the 20th century in answer to an enquiry,
"I consider the chief dangers that will confront the coming century will be,
Religion without the Holy Ghost,
Christianity without Christ,
Forgiveness without Repentance,
Salvation without Regeneration,
Politics without God,
And Heaven without Hell."
Interesting, virtually all six of those things have become the norm in our day and age.